Best Carrot Fertilizer to Grow Your Business

The best Carrot Fertilizer: A picture of a healthy carrot

The right carrot fertilizer will determine whether your carrot farming business will be a success or not. Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A and beta-carotene as well as a source of income for hundreds of farmers around the country.

Depending on the soil type, you can grow carrots with short, medium, or long roots. Seeds can be directly sown in the garden, raised beds, or containers. Carrots are not difficult to grow, but their ability to thrive is dependent on several factors such as the soil condition, the carrot fertilizer you use and environmental factors.

Carrots need to be planted in deep, loose, sandy soil that is free of stones if they are to develop long straight roots. They should be planted in raised beds or containers if your soil is compacted or rocky.

Best Carrot Fertilizer

Once you know how to grow carrots, it is then time to move to the next important phase of your farming venture; identifying a suitable carrot fertilizer. Before we discuss the best fertilizer to buy, you need to have a soil test done to identify the type of nutrients that your soil requires. Other advantages of having a soil test done are:

  • You better understand the soil conditions and how to improve on them. For example, after conducting a soil test, you will know whether there are pathogens that might affect your farming venture or not.
  • Soil tests are part of a soil fertility management system. The right soil fertilizer management system will help you save on fertilizer costs and improve agricultural productivity
  • It helps you avoid over-fertilization that may reduce crop yields
  • Soil tests help avoid soil degradation

When planting carrots, ensure that you avoid chloride-based fertilizers. Though they may improve productivity, the carrots are usually of low quality because they have reduced amounts of carotene.

The amount of fertilizer to use will depend on the size of land you are planting. Below, we have prepared a guideline for the amount of fertilizer to use per kg/ha

P2O5 N K2O CaO MgO
100 120 300 100 50

Though carrots will require other types of fertilizers, potassium, calcium, nitrogen and magnesium are the most important. The type of fertilizer to use will depend on the growth stage as demonstrated below:


Base- Dressing Stage

During this stage, we recommend that you only apply organic fertilizer at the rate of 20 tonnes per hectare. 20% of this should contain nitrogen while another 20% should contain potassium. The rest should contain phosphate. After planting your seedlings, only fertilize the carrots when they are 3 inches tall.

Growth Stage

During the growth stage, we advise you avoid nitrogen-based fertilizers because they promote the growth of foliage yet carrots are root vegetables. Instead, find a fertilizer that contains potassium and phosphate. These two nutrients boost root development which will thereby increase carrot yields.

Another tip to consider is to avoid commercial water-based fertilizers because they tend to contain excessive amounts of nitrogen.

How to Identify Nutrient Deficiencies In Carrots

One secondary method of identifying the best carrot fertilizer to use is to investigate whether there are suffering from nutrient deficiencies. This way, if you find a deficiency, you only buy the required fertilizer.  Some of the deficiencies to look out for are?

Sulphur Deficiency

Sulphur is important because it helps in nitrogen utilization and chlorophyll formation. The best way to tell if there is a sulphur deficiency is to investigate the leaves. If they are faint with a uniform green colour, then you need to add sulfur to the soil. Sulfur deficiency is mostly experienced in acidic, sandy, and soils with low organic matter.

Nitrogen Deficiency

Nitrogen helps in crop development and root colour because of carotene synthesis. Nitrogen deficiency causes stunted growth and leaf discolouration. Nitrogen deficiency can be caused by several factors one of them being drought, low organic matter in the soil and planting in soils with very high or low PH levels.

Calcium Deficiency

Calcium has several benefits and one of them is making the carrot resistant to both biotic and abiotic stresses. Other benefits include regulating enzyme systems and increasing the structural stability of cell membranes. To tell whether there is a calcium deficiency or not, inspect the root. If the root is small, then you need to add more calcium to your soil.

Phosphorus Deficiency

Phosphorus fertilizer has two main uses; carbohydrate metabolism and protein synthesis. Other secondary factors are to store and transfer energy and nucleic acid formation.  Phosphorus deficiency is caused by several factors such as planting carrots in iron-rich soils, planting in wet conditions and areas with low organic matter. The most common sign of this deficiency is stunted growth in some roots.

How to Plant Carrots

1. Provisions.

Choose carrot seeds that will give the appropriate root size and shape depending on the condition of your soil. If your soil is heavy or rocky, grow carrot varieties with short roots. Carrots grow best in full sunlight, but they can also grow in shady areas

2. Preparing the Soil

Prepare your soil before planting to reduce diseases and increase yields. To make rich, loose soil, till the top 8 inches of dirt with compost and sand.

Some gardeners recommend amending the soil with a small amount of wood ash because it contains soluble potassium, which is an essential nutrient for vegetables. Carrots grow better in lands that do not have stones. Stony lands cause the roots to deform and in some cases, they may reduce in size.

3. Seed sowing

Carrot seeds are extremely small and can be challenging to space. Sow seeds directly in the ground, in a raised bed, or a soil-filled container about 1/4 inch deep. Sow several seeds about 2 inches apart in a row and ensure there is sufficient space (12–18 inches) between rows.

4. Pruning

As the carrot plants mature, they will need to be pruned. Carrots have more room to grow underground when they are thinned. Once the carrot leaves reach a height of two to three inches, thin out tender plants (about 25 days old).

Thin the seedlings to about two inches apart, depending on the variety. Thereafter, apply a thin layer of organic mulch to aid in moisture retention.

5. Harvesting and storing fruits and vegetables.

From sowing to harvesting, most carrot varieties take 65 to 75 days. When ready, grasp the carrot’s top, half-twist it, and pull. Remove the green tops as soon as possible to avoid moisture loss. Thoroughly rinse and store in the refrigerator or a cool dark area.

Can Maize and Carrots Be Grown Together?

This is a common question asked by farmers who would like to increase their income, or who have small pieces of land. According to research, carrots perform better when intercropped with plants such as tomatoes, onions, beans, and sage. Maize on the other hand will perform best when intercropped with beans. If Maize is intercropped with carrots, the maize fertilizer will be consumed by the carrots, and as a result, the maize yield might reduce.
















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